The Causation and Correlation between dictatorship, poverty, and global instability can no longer be ignored.
My take and talking points – Nothing new. But am more interested in making the linkages; the socio, economic and political implications, that are actually affecting Europe in a negative way. We have become numb to the listing of the catalog of atrocities, human rights violation and shredding of the constitution, but Europe and even the US cannot escape the consequences of bad governance and dictatorship in Gambia.
Economic/Migration – Called the Backway Syndrome
Per capita, Gambians disproportionately make up the highest number arrivals, from Africa, hitting the shores of Europe. Gambia is a nation not in open warfare, therefore, vast majority of arrivals will never get their status regularized. These migrants will remain in a state of permanent limbo in refugee camps. The migrant issue is changing Europe and the European Union, and the electorate is increasingly turning to hard xenophobic demagogues, and a culture clash is inevitable.
The implications on agriculture/economy
Most of these young men and women will never return to farm the land, and cannot be replaced. As an agricultural nation, our productivity will continue to decline, with a downward impact on revenues and GDP. This reduction in agricultural productivity also has a direct correlation to deepening poverty, especially in the rural areas.
Brain Drain/Capital Flight
The most educated, industrious and skilled people have simply abandoned the country, and many will never return alive. They no longer have any confidence in the state and its institutions, and would rather go where they can get reasonably compensated and raise their families in peace. What is a loss to the Gambia government, and economy, is a major gain to the EU and the US. The Gambia government invested in the education of most (pre-1994) of the people fleeing. As a result of the dictatorship, the Gambia government will have to spend more money to train new people to replace those who fled, only for. Because of the political instability, the monopoly (oligarchy) created by the dictator in every industry, the business minded, or trained are refusing to return. Those who are already in business, are divesting, and pulling monies from already weak banks.
The demographic implications
Generally, in Africa, our social security and retirement plans are our offspring, whereby, the young take care of the old, until they die in dignity. Gambia is no different. We all know from early on that it is our duty to not support our parents in their old age, materially and emotionally. We are also expected to marry early, and start families by age 25. Unfortunately, the so called Back way Syndrome, whereby the most productive part of society, between the ages of 18 -35 are forced to flee into exile as both political and economic migrants. This is a demographic time bomb waiting to explode. The impact will be two fold. Old people are becoming destitute, and lonely, just when they can no longer provide foe selves, many even food poor. Second, most of the productive young men, and increasingly young women, have already, and trapped in no man’s land in refugee camps in Southern Europe. The remaining eligible people are seeing a dwindling pool of possible partners to marry. The implications have already been listed above, including the loss of future tax revenue.
Democracies cannot co-exist with oppressive totalitarian regimes. Increasing, Senegal has become the first point of entry for future migrants to the EU and US. Dictator Yaya Jammeh is also increasingly becoming hostile and belligerent to the peaceful aspirations of the Republic of Senegal. It is no secret that Dictator has been a long standing patron of the secessionist rebels of the MFDC in Southern since 1994. Dictator Jammeh has also been engaged in pillaging and poaching of Senegal’s natural resources from the lush southern Senegal. The porous borders also provide access to safe havens to Senegalese fugitives in Gambia. The borders are also major transit points for drug smugglers and human traffickers from both Senegal and Guinea Bissau. In the War against fundamentalist terror, Jammeh has publicly declared his intention not to cooperate with Senegal or the West, thus tacitly signaling to look the other way for regional terrorists.